FWB is a tricky concept, and it often ends on a sour note for most people because they do it wrong. They fail to communicate expectations and boundaries early on and don’t have rules or stick to them. But how long do friends with benefits relationships last?
A friends with benefits relationship lasts for 6-24 weeks if the people involved meet at least twice a week for physical intimacy. The higher the frequency, the shorter the duration of the arrangement. Most people get bored of each other during this timeframe and move on to find someone new.
Sometimes, one of the partners gets involved emotionally and messes up the whole situation. In this article, we’ll explore the signs that your FWB is over (or almost) and how to make it last longer.
Signs FWB Is Over
Most prominent signs that the FWB relationship is over include the development of feelings and jealousy creeping in. One partner would start behaving possessively about the other. You or your FWB will not like it if and when either of you discovers that they aren’t the only person in the equation.
Here is a list of signs discussed in detail:
1. You Are Being Ignored
Your friends with benefits arrangement is over if your partner constantly ignores you.
They might not even be replying to your calls or texts anymore, and it may have been a while since you shared a bed.
The person not showing any interest in catching up and rejecting your plans screams that they might have found someone else.
They’ll lie to you and give excuses not to meet or to leave before things move toward the bedroom.
They’ll no longer be interested in your company and doing something intimate.
2. There Exists An Awkwardness Now
When you are together alone or even surrounded by friends, you’ll definitely feel some unexplained uneasiness in the air.
It would feel as if something is wrong. The person won’t make eye contact with you and try to avoid you as much as possible despite having slept with you.
The bond of ‘friendship’ will start to fade. You won’t be able to communicate with them as freely as you could before.
Maybe it’s you, or they are going through a rough patch in their life.
It’s also possible that they are reflecting back on their choices and regret being in an FWB relationship.
3. Sleeping Together Is Not Fun Anymore
You won’t enjoy getting frisky with them anymore. What is the point of being in an FWB relationship if you are not having a good time?
For some reason, they’ll act selfish and be inconsiderate about your needs in bed.
They’ll just want to be done with it and leave as soon as possible once they’re satisfied.
You will not be getting the same satisfaction from them as you did before.
It would feel forceful and not done out of passion and rather just for the sake of doing it.
Maybe your partner is hesitant to tell you that they want to end it because they don’t want to ruin the friendship.
4. They Do Not Respect You
Your friends with benefits relationship is over if your partner disrespects you and exploits you for their needs.
It should be fun for both of you, but suddenly it has become all about them and what they want and when they want.
They meet you at their convenience. They have started treating you as a random hookup, and the friend part is lost somewhere.
You’ll begin to notice the person will sometimes even treat you like trash and try to get rid of you as soon as possible once they have their way with you.
5. Your FWB Is Committed To Someone
Your FWB is over for sure if your partner has committed to someone else or they are about to get into an exclusive relationship with someone else.
If you see them being head over heels for someone else, then it’s a sign that your FWB relationship is about to end.
They are unlikely to continue sleeping with you if they are in a relationship with someone else, as it would be counted as cheating (unless their partner agrees to an open relationship).
Sooner or later, you’ll be given an ultimatum to cut off all contact and to not talk about the FWB situation with anyone so that their partner does not get this undesirable information.
6. Your FWB Has Developed Feelings For You
An FWB relationship is about getting your physical needs met without the pressure of commitment, i.e., with no strings attached.
If the core foundation of this relationship changes when your FWB partner expects you to reciprocate their feelings, it’s no longer a friends with benefits relationship.
The person might be getting emotionally attached and trying to turn this casual setup into a full-fledged relationship with feelings.
7. You Don’t Agree With Each Other
Making any kind of relationship work, even the FWB one, requires both the partners to be on the same page and want the same things from each other.
Young adults with more psychological distress and who felt constrained in the FWB relationship were more likely to report negative emotional reactions.Owen, J., Fincham, F.D. Effects of Gender and Psychosocial Factors on “Friends with Benefits” Relationships Among Young Adults. Arch Sex Behav 40, 311–320 (2011).
If you and your FWB partner do not agree with each other on things concerning the course of the arrangement, then it’s as good as over.
Disagreements lead to disappointments and misunderstandings, impacting the friendship and forcing them to seek physical satisfaction elsewhere.
8. You Are The One Obsessing Over Them
The problems can not only be from the other side. Sometimes, you might be the root cause.
Are you thinking about your FWB partner a lot more than you did earlier? Do you get anxious when they don’t reply to your texts on time?
Do you often wait for them to reach out to you?
Do their social media posts and stories excite you, and do you feel disappointed when they have fun without you?
If the answer to even one of these questions is yes, then chances are you’re behaving in a way that’s not going down well with your FWB because you might be behaving desperately.
It’s pretty easy to figure out when someone starts developing feelings in an FWB arrangement. This beats the whole purpose of a no-strings-attached deal.
9. The Meetups Have Been Excessive Lately
Do you find yourself extending invitations to your FWB partner quite frequently these days? Or are they doing the same?
Do you miss their touch and fantasize all the time about them when they are not around.
Seeing each other excessively and too much intimacy can make either of you want to spend some time apart.
And then that some time apart usually translates to fading off from each other’s lives.
10. Hanging Around For Longer Durations
This point expands upon the previously mentioned trait of developing feelings.
Here are a few more changes you’ll observe in yourself (or the other person):
Earlier, you never cared if they stayed the night and never even bothered to stop them if they said they were leaving.
But now you never feel like letting them go. Instead, you want to spend more time with the person, cuddling, and dozing off while holding each other.
Waking up next to them has started feeling good. You don’t feel that they are invading your personal space.
After they leave, you feel lonely in your house and look for reasons to invite them over again.
Similarly, leaving their house is something you want to avoid for as long as possible.
These signs reek of one person wanting more than just a friends with benefits deal.
11. There Is More Focus On Conversations
You or your FWB are probably falling for each other if you have started liking the company more than sleeping together itself.
You’ll find that either you or your FWB is more interested in knowing about the other person than what you feel in bed.
You or your partner have started sharing your personal thoughts, and simply talking feels quite relaxing.
One of you is becoming too comfortable around the other person. You can be sure that it’s a sign that feelings are changing somewhere.
12. Jealousy Is Creeping In
There is a stark difference in how the news of one person seeing someone else is being received by the other.
Earlier, it didn’t matter, but now there is visible uneasiness and jealousy. The person can be upfront about it or hide it.
But the fact that it bothers either you or your partner cannot be changed.
If nobody ever cared who’s going out with whom, but suddenly, there is an interest in the dating life of the other person, it’s a sign that moving forward with this relationship will only be hurtful.
Nobody likes it when the person they want pays attention to someone else.
13. You Or Your FWB Have Stopped Dating Others
If it has been a long time since you or your partner has logged in to dating apps, it’s probably because one of you doesn’t want to lose the other.
Whatever’s needed, emotionally or physically, is being fulfilled. The need to go out and get to know other people isn’t there at all.
In fact, the thought of going out on dates feels too cumbersome, irritating, and useless.
It is because this friend with benefits relationship feels too fulfilling, and someone doesn’t want to ruin that.
How To Make Your FWB Relationship Last Long?
To make your FWB relationship last long, have a happy time but focus only on physical pleasure. Never try to turn it into something meaningful unless you’re sure your partner won’t detest the idea. Failing to gauge whether it’s okay to propose something serious messes most FWB arrangements.
Here is a detailed list of how to prolong the life of your friend with benefits deal:
1. Set Standards And Boundaries
It’s essential to set standards and boundaries at the beginning of a friends with benefits relationship.
Clearly state that you are not looking for commitment but something casual.
The moment one of you begins to flout this cardinal rule, detach yourself as soon as possible.
The people involved should know what’s acceptable and what is a definite deal-breaker.
Communicate how you will manage the physical and intimate aspects of the friendship while respecting each other’s boundaries and needs.
2. Avoid Sleep Overs
By staying the night at your FWB’s place, you are allowing yourselves to do what couples do.
Pillow talks, spooning while sleeping, and good night kisses are only meant for people you feel for. Doing all these can complicate your FWB relationship.
You don’t want that because they are the person you just want to be ‘friends’ with and sleep with occasionally.
Try to avoid sleeping over unless it’s absolutely unavoidable.
3. Keep The Cuddling Out
Cuddling releases oxytocin, a chemical responsible for attachment.
Also, cuddling is a way of showing affection towards the person you are being intimate with.
You wouldn’t want to do that with your friend with benefits because that will change the dynamics of your relationship from strictly casual to something else.
Kissing, hugs, a peck on cheeks or forehead are supposed to be done do a person you share a close bond with.
These things give a sense of connection, and either of you may develop feelings for the other which is not suitable for an FWB setting.
4. Don’t Show An Interest In Each Other’s Personal Life
Friends with benefits relationships last longer when partners don’t take an interest in each other’s life.
Showing interest means wanting to know the other person more, which is totally unnecessary given the kind of relationship the two of you are interested in.
Casual conversations are okay because the two of you aren’t robots and will talk about something.
But deep conversations about exes, relationships, career, parents, life choices etc., are a strict no-no. Why?
Because it will either make you like the other person more or dislike them. These feelings are not required if you are together just to satisfy your bodily needs.
If you start liking them more, you may develop feelings that would only complicate things.
Not liking the person will discourage you from keeping further contact. Thus, you’ll have to give up the friendship and the intimacy that comes with it.
5. Maintain Privacy
Neither interfere in your friend’s private space nor allow them to get into yours.
Involving your friend with benefits into things that seriously matter to you (or poking your nose into their business) would mean involvement in unnecessary stuff.
It would make the relationship difficult, and detaching from the other person when the time comes would feel tough.
So, do not get too close to your FWB and definitely do not let them wander too close to you.
6. Limit Your Contact
When you are already friends and share a bed with someone from time to time, it is possible that you will develop feelings for them, or they might for you.
Staying in constant touch or meeting such a person every day can ignite attraction between the two of you.
It’s problematic, especially when you do not want it to convert into something more than an FWB setup.
So, it’s better to limit your contact with them, and you should also keep the time you are spending together limited only to what’s required.
7. Don’t Be Over Caring
Since they are your friend first and the benefits come later, it’s nice to care about your friend. But overdoing it can disturb the balance.
They may start expecting more from you.
It might hurt a bit when you don’t meet them, and you guys would have to end the friends with benefits situation.
Show some care but don’t be overprotective or a pampering angel. Just be normal.
It’s easier said than done but taking this precaution really ensures the longevity of your FWB deal.
8. Meet In Groups Outside The FWB Setting
Avoid meeting the person alone when it is not to sleep with them. Instead, try meeting with a group of mutual friends.
This will keep you both distracted. Being together alone will force you to give them more attention than required.
Invite your other friends to join you two for other activities like eating out or simply chilling together.
Act casually around them as if nothing is going on between you two. This is also important to avoid unnecessary rumors and awkward situations.
People aren’t usually that understanding.
It will work as a reminder for both you and your FWB partner that all your friends are equal, and you are still not looking for something more.
9. Don’t Indulge In Anything Remotely Romantic
Remember that even though you are sleeping with them, it doesn’t mean that you are a couple.
So going out and holding hands, public display of affection, going on dates, romantic one-on-one movie nights, buying flowers or gifts is strictly prohibited.
Do not partake in romantic conversations. Keep things limited to a simple friendship. Do not make them feel special in any way.
Otherwise, they will think they mean more than a friend to you, and it’s developing into something serious.
10. Avoid Displaying Jealousy
Being friends with benefits should come with the freedom to date other people if you want to and end the arrangement if things start getting serious with someone on that front.
When your FWB partner does the same, you should not get jealous. If you do it, don’t let anyone dictate to you why you shouldn’t do it.
You don’t have any authority over your friend with benefit and can’t ask them to stop seeing other people.
Similarly, they have no authority over you in this respect.
If you do have jealousy issues and want this to be an exclusive thing, make sure you communicate this early on so that you are not catching them by surprise.
And if you cannot handle them seeing other people, say that clearly, but be ready to lose everything if they do not feel the same.
But never ever try to act nonchalant when it’s clearly eating you from inside.
11. Keep Your Social Media Behavior In Check
If your partner wants to keep the FWB relationship a secret, you don’t want the world to know by posting about it on social media.
Also, your FWB partner may not be comfortable openly sharing pictures, thus allowing the world to know who they are seeing, which can upset them.
Talk about the DOs and DON’Ts beforehand to avoid any drama later.
12. Maintain Physical Distance When In Public
Do not get touchy or feely when you are with friends. When you are around people you know or out in public, you should maintain a certain distance.
Doing so will hint to your partner that you are not afraid to tell your friends about you two and want to take things to the next level.
It will give them hopes and expectations, or they will get uncomfortable if they don’t want more.
So, treat them just like any other friend in front of other people and save the touchy-feely part for the bedroom.
13. Keep Dating Other People
Dating other people will shift your focus from your FWB partner and keep you from developing feelings for them.
It will also allow you two to look for a romantic and emotional connection elsewhere while keeping your arrangement feelings free.
The chances of this FWB lasting longer increase when you specifically avoid behaviors that lead to the development of feelings.
And the best way to not do so is to do such things elsewhere with other people. So, emphasize on both of you dating other people whenever you can.
14. Don’t Make The Person Feel Important
We prioritize people we love and push our boundaries for them. These things lead to expectations, and you get hurt when they are not met.
If you do the same for your FWB partner, they will get the wrong idea even if you don’t intend anything related to romance.
Also, if you are already doing that, stop it because you are investing in them and putting in an effort.
You will actually make them important to you, which would mean you wouldn’t want to lose them at any cost.
15. Keep The Spark Alive In Bedroom
While applying all the points above, do not lose sight of what we are trying to make last long.
If the intimacy itself starts to feel monotonous, no matter what you do, your friend with benefits would want to end the arrangement and just be friends.
Both of you must communicate your physical needs, desires, and fantasies from time to time to satisfy and benefit both of you.
Do not forget to keep things exciting in the bedroom. Don’t hesitate to explore your hidden desires with mutual consent.
You can make your friends with benefits relationship run a lot longer if you do not get attached to them and don’t let them catch feelings for you.
Of course, you cannot control their behavior, but it doesn’t hurt to try and not do things that might result in something unwanted.
One way to ensure it is by constantly seeing other people and keeping your FWB separate from what’s going on in your dating life.
Let the FWB thing run until you are not exclusively with one person.
Also, keep your friendship intact because, without the friend part, a friends with benefits relationship is akin to a one-night stand with a stranger.